VIDEO: Young Republicans hosts Ledbetter, Merrill, Battle, and Brooks
May 31, 2017
Southern Torch (3918 articles)

VIDEO: Young Republicans hosts Ledbetter, Merrill, Battle, and Brooks

PHOTO: Congressman Mo Brooks, candidate for U.S. Senate in the special election, discusses the national debt in the Fort Payne City Park last Saturday. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — (Video at the Bottom) Last Saturday, the Young Republicans of Northeast Alabama hosted several big-time candidates at their Crawfish Boil fundraiser in the Fort Payne City Park!

House Majority Leader Representative Nathaniel Ledbetter opened up the remarks after guests had their fill of crawdads. Ledbetter recapped the progress made in the last legislative session.

“After we look back at what happened in this session, I’m kind of proud of what we’ve done, what we’ve accomplished. We had a lot of hard fights,” Ledbetter said in his remarks.

House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter addresses the crowd. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

“We’ve got a lot of work to do in Alabama, there’s no question about that, the infrastructure, the prisons, are some major issues we’ve got. But I’m very proud of our Republican caucus, we stood together, especially down to the end,” said Ledbetter. “Some of these votes we’re talking about you have to have just about every member, and they stayed in there even till 4:30 in the morning.

“We passed one of the best general fund budgets we could pass with the money we had. We put another $94 million back for next year just in case Medicaid continues to run like it has, so that way we don’t have to burden the tax payers,” Ledbetter said.

“Thank you to the Young Republicans and what you’ve done. I think this sends a message when people come by and see this gathering,” concluded Ledbetter.

Serving Secretary of State John Merrill addressed the crowd on his responsibilities as secretary of state, and positive changes his administration has made:

“It’s been my honor to serve as your Secretary of State for the last 27 months, and I want you to know that it’s a privilege that I do not take lightly,” said Merrill.

Secretary of State John Merrill addresses the Young Republicans of Northeast Alabama in the Fort Payne City Park. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

“One of the commitments we’ve made when I became your secretary, was to ensure that each and every eligible U.S. citizen that’s a resident of Alabama is registered to vote and has a photo ID. We want to make sure that each and every person that wants to participate in the electoral process can do that at the level they want to participate,” he explained.

Merrill also highlighted positive changes made to voter registration: “We have registered more than 702,000 new voters since I’ve been your secretary of state. We now have more than 3.2 million voters. We also purged a quarter-million (ineligible) people off the voter rolls.”

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, who’s announced he’s pursuing the Alabama Governorship in 2018. Battle discussed the institutions that make Alabama great, and what’s needed for a better future. Battle also explained that his wife spent decades as an educator, and stressed the importance of public education.

“I’m for the public education system because that’s number one. Public Education is key and if we don’t have public education, then we don’t have jobs. We can’t bring in industry if we don’t have public education,” said Battle.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, who plans on seeking the Governor’s seat in 2018. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

“If we don’t have infrastructure, and infrastructure is something that the legislature has been struggling with this last session. It’s something that we’re going to be able to take care of in the future. We’ve got to have an infrastructure,” said Battle. “We’ve got to have a highway system. We’ve got to have a system that let’s you get from here to there. Without an infrastructure you can not grow.”

“We’ve had two companies come to the Huntsville area and say, ‘we’re worried about your state infrastructure, and how we can deliver our goods back into the market and get in your highway systems, and we don’t think it’s gonna work, and we’re gonna go somewhere else,” said Battle

“Take a moment out, and say a little prayer for those who have fallen, because those who have fallen are the ones who allow us to do what we’re doing today. Allow us to come out here and eat crawfish, and talk about America, and talk about Alabama and how we can have a better community,” explained Battle.

Congressman Mo Brooks, who represents Alabama’s 5th District in the U.S. Congress and is seeking the U.S. Senate seat in the special election, spoke about the national debt and his ongoing campaign for senate.

“I have probably won more elections as a Republican than any other Republican in the State of Alabama right now. I have had 12 successful general elections as a Republican, carrying the Republican banner, and I’ve won five Republican primaries,” said Brooks.

Brooks also explained his motivation to seek his current seat at the national level:

“In 2010, I was very upset at what I was seeing at the national level, whether it be healthcare, or the deficit and debt. Having an economics background, that was my education and training, I thought about it and said, we can’t go into an absolvency and bankruptcy of our country,” explained Brooks. “It took over 200 years for our ancestors to build this country up and going into absolvency and bankruptcy will be debilitating for the United States of America.”

“That was my motivation to run for U.S. Congress to save our country from that kind of horrific economic downfall,” he said.

Brooks’ brought graphs to show the group the dire situation surrounding the national debt.

“The big one is in 2023, and the congressional budget office is warning us, that if we don’t change our financial trajectory, then we are going to start trillion dollar deficits, right here (2023) until we collapse economically as a country, and I’m talking about a situation that’s far worse than the great depression,” said Brooks.

“There are a lot of other issues out there, and let me close with these two points: To the extent ethics is in issue, and I suspect ethics is a big issue in this senate race, based on some of the things that have transpired of the the last six to 12 months,” explained Brooks. “I have what many groups have referred to as an, ‘impeccable ethics record,’ but don’t take my word for it, look at my record.”

“All this public service is in excess of 30 years total, not one time, not one time, have I had anybody file a complaint against me, valid or invalid. Not once,” said Brooks. “I believe that if you want to be in public service, that you have to put your city, your county, your state, above your own interests. If you can’t do that, then you shouldn’t be running.”

“The second (point) is this: I would submit to you that I have the only record of proven conservative leadership out of all the people running. I understand thats a rather bold statement, but you can look at my record as a state legislator where I was ranked number one in the fight against higher tax increases by the Alabama Taxpayer’s Defense Fund out of 140 house members and senators,” stated Brooks.

Watch the Video of Ledbetter, Merrill, and Battle’s remarks:

Watch the Video of Congressman Mo Brook’s remarks: 

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